Life on Mars? What lessons can we learn from that news?

One of the big stories in the news this week—after the NFL referees, the breast-cancer “breakthrough” and the Netanyahu “red line” bomb—was news of possible life on the Red Planet.

Our space rover, Curiosity, has been probing Mars since 8-9-12 and has just come up with pictures of a rock formation that scientists claim could only have been created by fast-flowing water. This new information, of course, raises many more questions:

  1. What kind of life was there? Plants, animals, insects?
  2. Was there ever intelligent life on Mars?
  3. When did life begin on Mars and when did it end?
  4. Why did life end on Mars?

Published by BenBella — October 2011

That’s the big question in my mind, “Why did life end on Mars?” If we knew what caused life to end on Mars, what valuable lessons might we learn from that information?

What steps can we take to give our planet the best possible chance of sustaining life indefinitely? I touched on these thoughts in the Introduction to our book:

The primary objective of this book is to outline in simple, everyday terms the extent of the problems we face, how we got ourselves into trouble, and what each of us can do to make things better. Fortunately, despite the incredible complexity of our current dilemma, the solution is refreshingly simple.

All we have to do is educate ourselves, start making better choices about what we eat, and then share all that we have learned with everyone we care about. I am convinced that there has never been anything more important in the history of the world.

The history of the world? No. I have since revised my thinking on that statement. We know that our planet was formed roughly 4 billion years ago (as was Mars) and that the world was already 3. 8 billion years old before humans arrived. We’ve been here only about 5% of the time that our planet has been in existence.

The Planet Mars

During the previous 95%, the 3.8 billion years before our arrival, our planet experienced a number of mass extinctions—and survived every one of them. We can only wonder about Mars in terms of the history of life on that planet. But we can be sure of one thing—the planet itself survived—but not the “life” that once existed there.

My point here is that it is almost certain that our planet will survive for billions of more years. The big question is: How long will “life” continue on this planet and how long will humans be a part of that life?

And to what extent do our actions today affect the Earth’s ability to sustain human life indefinitely? Hence my revised statement is that this is the most important topic in the history of the human race—not the history of the world. 

What damage have we inflicted? We learned in the movie HOME, that in just the past fifty years, the human race has inflicted more damage on the fragile harmony of our planet than all previous generations of humans for the last 200,000 years. A big part of the problem is our numbers. It took our human population almost 200,000 years to reach one billion; since then, we’ve added another six billion in just a few hundred years. And we continue to add to our population at the rate of a new billion people every fifteen years.

What can we learn from our smaller sister planet that might bode well for the sustainability of the human race?

And while we were busy multiplying, we were also straying away from the natural plant-based diet for our species to a modern western diet that requires ten times more water, ten times more land and ten times more energy for the same amount of calories.

Not only that, we humans are also the big culprits behind species extinction and global warming. And let’s not forget the 2 billion sentient beings that we “civilized” humans torture and kill every single week for our dinner tables.

The Bottom Line. We’ve got some serious problems on our own planet. Perhaps we can learn some lessons from previous life forms on other planets—lessons that will bring us to our senses before it’s too late.

Take-charge-of-your-health (and your planet) kit—from

Consecutive daily blogs (numerals today from “super swing state” Ohio)

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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